Show Full Directory Path in Mac OS X Finder Window Title Bars
Have you ever wished you could see the complete file system path in the titlebar of a Finder file system window? Well you can use a secret setting in Mac OS X to display the path in the titlebars of windows. The geekier Mac users amongst us and those familiar with the unix world should really appreciate this, but really it’s useful for anyone who just likes to know where they are currently located within the file system.
To change the Finder window titlebars to display the full directory path, you’ll need to use a defaults command string entered into the Terminal.
How to Display the Full Path in Mac Finder Window Titlebars
TO get started, you’ll need to launch the Terminal app on the Mac (found in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder), and then enter the following defaults command string onto a single line:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
Hit the return key for the defaults string to execute.
Now you’ll want to kill the Finder for changes to take effect, this causes the Finder to quit and then relaunch itself:
Again hit the return key.
You can also make this entire command sequence a bit easier by combining the the two into a single command string, just be sure the syntax is on a single line when executed looking like so:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES;killall Finder
Entered into a single command line, that will not only execute the proper defaults command but also restart the Finder, thereby enabling the full path to be displayed in the titlebar.
Once the Finder has refreshed you’ll instantly see the difference when you start navigating to remote paths in the OS X file system.
Like anything else performed with a defaults string in OS X, this setting can be reversed if you’d prefer to return to only showing the active finder window as the titlebar names in Finder.
Revert Back to the Titlebar Default and Hide the Full Path
To disable the full path title bars and revert back to the default, simply go back to the Terminal app and repeat the command with NO instead of YES as the operator:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool NO
This works with any version of OS X beyond 10.5, including Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and newer.